On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment No. 05-10-4117.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 20, 2008
Before Judges Carchman and Simonelli.
After a bench trial, defendant Rasheed Ross was convicted of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) (cocaine), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (count one); third-degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3) (count two); third-degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of a school, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (count three); and second-degree employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-6 (count four). At sentencing, the trial judge merged count one with count three and imposed a mandatory extended eight-year term of imprisonment with a four-year period of parole ineligibility. The judge also imposed a concurrent four-year term of imprisonment on count two, and a consecutive six-year term of imprisonment with a three-year period of parole ineligibility on count four as well as the appropriate assessments, penalties and fees, and suspended defendant's driver's license for twelve months.
On appeal, defendant raises the following contentions:
BECAUSE THE STATE'S EVIDENCE WAS INSUFFICIENT TO PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS ENGAGED IN DRUG TRAFFICKING, THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE GRANTED HIS MOTION FOR A JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL.
PURSUANT TO R. 3:20-1 AND IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE, THE JUDGE SHOULD HAVE DIRECTED THE ENTRY OF A NEW JUDGMENT GRANTING DEFENDANT A NEW TRIAL AFTER THE DEFENDANT PROVIDED ADDITIONAL TESTIMONY. (Not Raised Below)
THE COURT ERRED IN IMPOSITION CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES; IN ADDITION, THE CASE MUST BE REMANDED FOR RE-SENTENCING PURSUANT TO STATE V. THOMAS.
A. The Imposition of Consecutive Sentences was unjustified.
B. The Case Should Be Remanded Pursuant to State v. Thomas.
We reject these contentions ...